An Exert From My Book…

I have written a lot of stuff for a book, this is just a chapter/section that came to me about one of the current players in my life.
The section is entitled:
My Evolving, Revolving, Expanding and Ever Changing Cast of Players
KC (MISS PRISS aslo known as **##**)
There has been so much thought put into what I should write about… I know so little about so much, at least as far as a survey of other peoples opinion might bring one to understand. So I thought about the many poems, and stories I have written in the past. Some of them to be found in my dream book, several shared with another in camaraderie, still yet to be returned and a whole lot of others locked up in the yet to be repaired computer. Which sit’s there in full sight, reminding me of the value of backing up to disc’s a habit I have still integrate into my affairs.
So with all of these thoughts, happenings and ideas roaming constantly in my mind, I have managed to do several parts of the book(s) in layers. Encouraged by my morning experiences, thoughts and driving vistas. This morning’s presentation starts with my being bushwhacked as I got up, crossed in front of my bed headed to the bathroom to start my day. When, whack… a set of needle sharp claws found the tender skin of my shin bone and before I could take another full step, I feel this wicked paw, reach up pulling off my sock as her other foot’s unsheathed claw, missed its target to get stuck in my sock. Almost, but not quite tripping me, as I am used to this occasional tirade of protest of hers because she is no longer in charge, not being tended to as fast, or exactly how she desires.
I marvel at her skill, persistence, and ability to know when I do or don’t take the water spray bottle to bed with me. My latest attempt at re-directing her demanding, bitchy, I’m queen attitude. To my preferred alternative; you are my youngest son’s cat, you will behave, I pay the bills and you can wait till it’s your turn. Which my current tactics, trainer skills, persistence and patience with her and myself, are actually beginning to bear fruit. My mind this morning aware of and reminded of how much her coloring of tabby gold, greys, browns, and white mingled stripes, so fits her skills and abilities to sneak around. Skulking like a commando in the bed sheets, under the curtains, barely distinguishable in between the tan and brown chairs, on the multi colored carpets. Stealthily sneaking, slapping, slashing, and assaulting any and all unsuspecting passerby’s who dare to come into her territory, her domain.
Made even more amazing when she dawns to clean herself up, walking auspiciously around unsuspecting victims, who she fawns, rubs and weaves in and out of their legs. Sweetly asking for the assumed, “pretty kitty, need some loving?” Just waiting for her target to venture a hand down anywhere near her fangs and claws, to be ripped and shredded for another’s gullibility into her cunning trap. Many have fallen prey to her clever manipulations of what appears to be a very pretty little lady in need of attention. She has just yet decided how to be anything other than the miniature missile of destruction, the boys created in her growing up years.
She came into our home when the youngest was in first grade. Desired a cat of his own, and after the required, “you do good in school and we will get you a kitty”, he did and the search began. By living in a small town, finding kittens that need homes is a pretty easy task, when one scans the local newspaper, feed store bulletin boards and the local vets outdoor display signs. Signifying give away’s, adoptions, and critters for sale or in need of a good home. The corner vet’s sign was spotted with the appropriate “barn kitties for free” on the morning trip to school, so when he got out later that day. We swung in to take a look see. There on the table in the center of the vet’s waiting room sat a cage with one small, dark, waif of a kitty. My son, so excited “a kitty, momma, one just for me”, so I asked the assistant about it. Male or female, how old, where did it come from, and what kind of cat’s were its parents? It was a girl, she was 5 weeks old, her mom a certified mouser, from a farm out in the country. I signed for her, signifying at the proper age she would be neutered, got her out of the cage, into my six year olds waiting hands.She seemed timid, tiny, and alone, glad to be cuddled up to, snug in this warm feeling, nurturing embrace. Drove the short distance to the house to take her inside and introduce her to my cat Minxy, who has learned to allow and tolerate the constant stream of new coming animals which involves living in the country at a horse facility.
Minxy extended a slow inquiring soft pink nose, and little miss spitfire, reached up to slap her squarely with her extended claws. I passed it off as the ritual of each learning about the other, and the baby attempting to establish her right to be there. Little knowing what vixen had come to stay with us. She proved to be healthy, fast, playful and with a profoundly strange love of my youngest son’s dirty socks. Taken each and every time he took them off, as she would drag them to her established place on the corner of his bed. To be guarded, growled over, and massively defended every time Minxy walked past the room, much less to even look inside. This was soon to set the stage for how strong was this little one’s desire to rule her kingdom with an iron paw. K C named by my son for the initials of kitty cat.
My habit of writing while the kids were away at school, usually found her curled up around my feet as I sat in my rolling chair. One day as I maneuvered from the desk to the filing cabinet, I heard this sudden squall, felt the teeth and claws from the terror of pure pain from her, because I had just rolled over the end of her tiny tail. The next thing I knew, around the corner comes my cat to see what the commotion was all about. KC ripped into Minxy, and the fighting monster became the new terrorist who owned, ran and was in charge of entire house. This kitten took the whole scenario to heart, and seemed to blame what had happened on my cat, plus any and everybody or critter that crossed her path. Within three weeks, my cat looked like she was visited by a pair of trimming shears on the loose. Every time Kc spotted Minxy, she attacked, clawed, bit and chewed her, should she stand still, instead of making a break for it to any vantage point the protected all of her but her front to keep the little she devil at a safe slashing claws distance. As Minxy began making it a habit to beeline outside anytime there was an open door. I decided for the health and safety of my cat, she might just be better outside. She seemed to agree by moving in under the house and only coming up to be petted or fed if the door was closed and secured, because KC would come charging out after her when she saw her.
So now I had an indoor and outdoor cat. The indoor queen’s personality really began to take on characteristics I would have never thought imaginable for an animal in my care. She demanded to be fed and cared for from whoever was closest. Jumping up on my oldest son in the middle of the night and biting his nose, should she decide she had not been fed enough. Eventually irking him off with her demanding habit of 2 or 3 extra feedings a day, to the point of him unceremoniously throwing her off of the bed and out of his room. This regal, determined, haughty feline deemed when she would be fed, or have her box cleaned. Raking any and all with claws who attempted to pet, play with, or love on her in a more normal cat fashion. She defied anyone to make her do, be or act like the barn kitty persona originally expected. Actually seen several different times, lying stretched out across a pillow or couch, watching a mouse cross the open living room floor. The boys took to teasing and tormenting her, as her new found ability at tripping sneak attacks, drew blood from the scratches, or bruises from sustained when her tripping technique was perfectly executed, amongst interesting names now assigned to her highness. The war became so extreme between the two forces, amidst, thrown tennis shoes, she was eventually run off from their side of the house to take up residence on mine.
A decision I took seriously to heart, in my mistake of feeling sorry for her pretty forlorn expression, when she started curling up on the corner of my bed.” Poor kitty” I mistakenly stated, “Are they mean to you?” A sucker caught unaware, she started slowly sleeping with me. Finding me at my desk, nudging for a pat, to a move over, can I share your lap phase. All of which lasted about a month, before the biting started anytime she caught me either not petting her, as she lay there, or because I was petting her too much. I finally decided she could use some manners, as I began to pay attention to some of her more defining quirks. Especially the delight she had in stealing small, creatures, tiny toys which were rubbery, flexible and would slide easy across the hard painted floors. Her habit of batting them around and then chasing them in burst of athletic enthusiasm, around and up to my feet, reminded me of training dogs to fetch.
So I began only paying attention, if the preferred object touched my feet. Then I would reach down, snatch it from her and hurl it through the door, into the next room and watch her run, dive and slide with it caught up in her teeth, and then waiting till she batted, or chased it back to my feet, to do it all over again. After about a week, I started holding the toy in the throw position till she started to turn and head in the direction my arm was cocked. Once she was in the right place, I would throw, she would go get it, play with it directly back to me and we would begin again. Another week or so of her continued interest of playing with me that way, I decided to up the stakes. I now would get her in the headed, waiting on me to throw position, say sit, and wait till she did. She caught on to that so fast, with so much interest, I started waiting on her to sit after she would bat it back to me, or occasionally carry it back. Being an observer by nature, I made note of her occasionally carrying it back and added that to the program. Eventually in about a month I had her finding, bringing, sitting and giving me the toy. Then she would move to the start direction, sit, and wait on the throw, to slide, chase, somersault pick it up and bring it back to me. Many times only stopping when she was panting, tired, and in need of a break.
It took almost another month to show or share this with anyone else, cause she still insisted being the stalking huntress of any other who dared come in her domain. Once the boys caught on to her ability, they tried to tempt, trick or torment her into compliance, but she didn’t like, trust, or believe in them. Occasionally someone would come into the office she actually liked and she would perform for them, till I would notice her tail starting to slash back and forth, knowing the next retrieve would probably draw blood. So I would stop the fun, and explain if she comes up to love on you, it would be wise to keep your fingers and hands out of her sudden change in disposition.
I began to notice her gaining weight, about the same time I was becoming aware and increasingly annoyed about her demanding when to be fed all the time. She had begun walking on me at all hours of the night, whining, begging, squalling, and then biting any exposed piece of flesh if I didn’t get up and tend to her immediately. I remembered reading about cats and water pistols for getting them off of counters and wondered how I could use this new tool to my advantage.
I grabbed one of the big 32 ounce bug spray bottles, filled it with water, and kept it close to me within easy reach whenever I was in the house. Deciding at the same time, her manners were going to improve when she was fed. The routine was to now be twice a day, once in the morning as I was getting ready for my day, once at night about supper time. My setting of these new hours was immediately met with sabotage, if I were sleeping and she walked on me, I would upend the covers to get her back on the floor. She would immediately dive under the bed, wait for me to doze, then grab the first piece of exposed flesh she could find, bite hard enough to draw blood and escaper to her hidey hole. I had to learn to sleep aware of any movement on my bed, and to keep well covered, nothing dangling off the sides of my bed. I had to up my accuracy with the sprayer to include, under the bed and across the room at a moment’s movement. It took a little more than a month, before she realized there was a new boss in town.
Her next attempt to win back her position of “poor little princess” was to start whining, and mewing pitifully every time anyone walked into the house. Then running frantically back and forth from the cat food container to her bowl pleading, quickly weaving back and forth between someone’s legs in the throes of deprived, mistreated, so starving animal. Since I have given up feeling guilty for well fed, tended, and taken care of animals, I informed people of the spray bottle right inside the door, and to protect the body at all cost should they fall prey to her pleading and offer to pick her up and console her. I explained bloody nubs would be at their owners own risk. But since she still seemed so “needy” I upped the stakes to include no feeding her till she sat for her supper.
This required more patience than when she was previously taught to sit, as now she was older use to her way of behaving when she was fed, and mad at her change in stature now having to wait till it was time to be fed. The first week, she balked, screamed, tried biting, all to no avail as I just stood there, patiently holding her bowl, till her bottom found the floor. This went on for about a month, before she began to get the bigger picture of me and my determination for peace would now include a cat with as good of manners as my horses and dogs already did possess.
Of course my youngest son, who she belonged to, and would barely tolerate his holding her, but did not rate for her to listen to. Finally decided to ask if he could learn how to get the same respect from her, and get her to mind, be quiet and sit for him to feed her. Instead of running off to hide, for a sneak attack the minute he stopped hunting for her and turned his back. It’s taken about a month, first because his impatience would cause him to throw the food back and quit, saying it was too hard. Till like with her, I refused to come do or fix it for him, I just patiently sat, giving directions, praise, and reminders of how long that the two of them have been tormenting each other. Cat training is a whole other way of learning “the time it takes….is the time it takes!

About irfriske

Trainer, coach, teacher, parent, writer, exploring and sharing the connection through observation of what the Universe reflects back to us in our continuing education in living, loving, and enjoying life in interacting with horses, people, and animals.

Posted on December 5, 2011, in Life, Sharing, Story, Training, Writing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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